July 20, 2022

Boston, Worcester rank in top 25 US metro areas for life science research talent, study says

Massachusetts is home to two of the country’s best metro areas for life sciences research talent, according to real estate and investment firm CBRE.

Boston and Cambridge ranked first in the list together, while Worcester came in at 15th. The list was based on number of people working in life science as well as number of people with relevant advanced degrees, among other factors like nearby universities and research centers.

“Boston/Cambridge is exemplary in almost every datapoint, and benefits from higher densities and concentrations of talent,” CBRE’s report says.

Worcester, one of the smaller markets listed in the report, specifically benefits from its proximity to Boston and Cambridge, the report went on to say.

“The momentum continues to build in Worcester and the central Massachusetts region in the life sciences sector,” said Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Timothy Murray. “The CBRE Report confirms what many in this growing sector already know. Worcester is a life sciences, biotech and bio manufacturing hot spot that continues to punch above its weight. Very few communities in the nation have the assets that Worcester does to ensure the continued growth of this critical industry.”

According to the report, there were more than 163,000 graduates in biological and biomedical sciences in the United States in 2020, double the number from 15 years ago. However, experts say that finding talent may be more difficult in the future, as life, physical and social science occupations had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country in April at just 0.6%.

“Massachusetts is lucky to be home to multiple world class biotech cities. Worcester and Cambridge complement each other to make Massachusetts the destination for life sciences,” said Jon Weaver, president and CEO of Worcester-based biotech incubator MBI. “Worcester gives emerging companies access to talented researchers and professionals from 13 colleges and universities and the community is dedicated to continuing to build the future of the workforce pipeline in unique and innovative ways.”

New Haven, Conn., was the only other New England city that made the list. Other top regions include Washington, D.C./Baltimore, San Francisco, New York/New Jersey and San Diego.